This is hugely damaging for the UK’s reputation, let alone the country’s future.
Sir Michael Leigh is saying that David Davis has no authority as the UK’s lead negotiator, because there is division in the minority Tory government’s cabinet and no firm direction from the prime minister because she has lost power as a result of the general election she called for the sake of her own vanity.
Nobody believes that the Tories have prepared for Brexit negotiations in any serious way.
Nobody believes that a new free trade agreement will be in place in less than two years.
And nobody believes the UK will be able to pick and choose the conditions of EU membership it will be able to retain during any transitional period.
The EU has the upper hand – as does the strongest party in any negotiation. Theresa May should consider this carefully before launching any free trade negotiations with Donald Trump’s United States – but she probably won’t because she simply isn’t intelligent enough.
The decisions taken by Prime Minister Theresa May and her predecessor David Cameron over the UK’s relationship with Europe will be as harmful to Britain’s interests as any decision the government has taken for over 50 years, a former EU negotiator has told Business Insider.
“The decisions taken by the former prime minister David Cameron, exacerbated by the decisions taken by his successor, are the most harmful decisions that have been taken by a British government for decades,” Sir Michael Leigh, who was a European Commission Director-General from 2006 to 2011, [said].
“You have to go back to the Suez crisis in 1956 or to Munich in 1938 to find decisions taken by a British government that will turn out in time to have had such negative consequences for the United Kingdom.
“It’s clear that the Commission has used the full period since the notification under Article 50 to prepare detailed position papers.
“The general impression is that Britain has not used the time since notification to prepare detailed negotiating positions. The main reason for that is division among Cabinet ministers as to the approach to be taken and of course, that’s exacerbated now by the loss of the government’s majority and therefore the loss of authority for the prime minister.
“Michel Barnier [chief EU Brexit negotiator] may notionally have David Davis in front of him as his negotiating partner, but if senior Cabinet ministers go on record almost every day with divergent positions on key issues like the single market and transitional arrangements, then it’s a fact that the person opposite Barnier does not have the authority to take a clear and sustainable negotiation position.
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